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District Being Sued Over Ambulance Response Time

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The District is being sued over a shortage of first responders one evening earlier this year.
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The District is being sued over a shortage of first responders one evening earlier this year.

Relatives of a man who died while waiting for an ambulance in the District are suing the city.

The $12 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city's Fire and EMS Department was filed this week in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of Durand Ford Sr.

Ford died on Jan. 1. The lawsuit claims an ambulance from neighboring Prince George's County arrived 30 to 40 minutes after the emergency call was made — too late for emergency technicians to save him, according to the complaint.

Records show about 90 firefighters called in sick on that New Year's Eve. Fire department officials say the absences left the department dangerously understaffed as the year began.

The firefighters' union denies there was a coordinated sick-out.

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